Cato’s Andrew Coulson actually applies that “logic” to a different government program, but it makes just as little sense. Yes, Americans tend to reject evolution, though not, as Coulson claims, 2 in 3; a survey by FASEB this month found that 6 in 10 support evolution. That doesn’t mean we should give up on public education. It mean we should give public school teachers more support. A survey by the National Science Teachers Association found that
When asked if they feel pressured to include creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classroom, 31% of teachers responding said they did. … When asked if they feel pushed to de-emphasize or omit evolution or evolution-related topics from their curriculum, 30% agreed, indicating the most pressure is coming from students and parents (18% each).
A third of Americans reject evolution, and a third of teachers report pressure to drop evolution from the curriculum, and another third report pressure to teach bogus “alternatives.” One wonders if there could be a causal link there, perhaps one more relevant than where school funding comes from.
While we’re at it, I’ll point out this egregious bit of bad rhetoric. He claims that the sorry state of American comprehension of biology persists:
generations after the scientific explanation of the origin of species became the only one legally permitted in public school biology classes around the country.
What possible reason could there be for teaching non-scientific explanations in a science class? If there were other scientific explanations than evolution, no one would object to offering them in biology classes. There aren’t, so we don’t. Is Coulson favoring intellectual affirmative action?